Posted by: Susan Hanniford Crowley | July 7, 2012

Waiting for Penelope

I’ve been waiting for a very special person to arrive.  She finally did on Thursday, July 5, 2012 at 5:26.  Under that hat is fine strawberry blonde hair.  She has blue eyes.

It took her parents a long time to find her name.  I was surprised when my daughter wanted to look at Greek names.  Being part Greek, she’s always loved the mythology.  One meaning of Penelope is loyal.  Penelope was also a great queen of Greece.  She was Queen of Ithaca, a Greek island.

When Penelope was a princess, she was in court when all the kings and princes of the city-states were vying for the most gorgeous princess Helen.  But Odysseus saw Penelope and was captivated by her instead. He asked her father for her hand in marriage.  Penelope’s father set a difficult task for Odysseus, but he did it and won her as his bride.  He left his home to go to her home in Ithaca and became his Queen’s King.

The king that married Helen had a lot of trouble.  When she was kidnapped by Prince Paris of Troy, he called upon the other kings of Greece to help him get his wife back.  That’s how the Trojan War started.   Odysseus didn’t want to go.  By that time he and Penelope had a little son.  They were very much in love.  But he went, and after years of fighting talked the other kings into an idea of his that would end the war in their favor.  He had them build a huge wooden horse that would be left as an offering to the Trojans.  Of course, he and many soldiers would be hiding inside to climb out and take the city as the Trojans slept.   Then the other Greeks would return and find the city gates open.

Back home in Ithaca, Penelope waited for the one she loved, watching the horizon every day for his ship.

Odysseus had a terrible time trying to get home over the course of many years, but no matter what happened all he could think about was getting home to Penelope.  Queen Penelope saw that other kings had returned home but no one knew what happened to Odysseus. Some thought him dead.  Then the suitors came and encamped in her throne room.  Each one thought he should be king.

Penelope knew she had to buy time.  She told her suitors (a rather nasty bunch that ate her food and drank her wine and refused to leave) that she could not marry until she had finished a tapestry (some say it was a shroud).  Every night she unwound her work of the day.  When she was betrayed by a maid, the suitors demanded that she choose a new husband.  Being as smart as her husband, she challenged the suitors to accomplish the same task Odysseus did to win her hand.

At this time, Odysseus had finally come home.  But he was older and dressed in rags, and she did not recognize him.  When it came time for the suitors to try the task, he stepped up also.  He won and then massacred the men who had  been tormenting his wife and son.  Finally loyal and clever Queen Penelope had her Odysseus home.

The Romans called him Ulysses and his story is Homer’s epic poem “The Odyssey.”

Well, our Penelope has finally arrived and we’re so glad she’s here.  Her journey has just begun, and I am so honored to be here for her as her grandmother.

–Susan
Susan Hanniford Crowley
P.S.  There’s still time to enter the contest on the News page on my website http://www.susanhannifordcrowley.com
and your secret word is rattle.   Please, read the directions there.  Good luck!

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Responses

  1. Congratulations on your new little bundle! She’s adorable! And I love her name. I have a heroine with the same name (though I haven’t written her story yet. LOL). I think it’s as beautiful as her. :)

  2. Congratulations!

  3. Congratulations to the happy family!

  4. Congratulations on the arrival of Penelope – as well as for your telling of the story.

  5. Oops. I meant “Congratulations of the arrival of Penelope. And thank you for the re-telling of the story.” Sorry. :( You know what I meant. :)

  6. Yes, I know what you meant, Rhonda. Thanks so much, everyone. It is such a lovely name and for a nickname they will call her Penny.

    –Susan

  7. Congrats to you and your family, Susan! As someone who loves classical times, I adore the name Penelope–May your grand-daughter be as steadfast in her loves and her life. What a beautiful blessing to you all!


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